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Lying Spirits

by Wayne Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

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Lying Spirits

by Wayne Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149

A lying spirit works to create lies and convince men that those lies are truth, thus causing souls to be deceived and lose out with God. To do this, the devil doesn’t make up great big, obvious lies. He coats his lies with some truth, putting a little bit of truth around them, so people will think they are all truth.

King Jehoshaphat Deceived

II Chronicles 18:1
Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.

Joining affinity means that Jehoshaphat developed a friendship with Ahab and made a treaty with him.

King Ahab of Israel was a wicked king. His headquarters were in Samaria, and King Jehoshaphat of Judah had his headquarters in Jerusalem.

Seek God Before Making Decisions

Years later, we find Ahab asking Jehoshaphat to go to battle and help him take Ramoth-gilead from the Syrians. Jehoshaphat made a mistake in joining affinity with Ahab. This wasn’t the leadings of God. No doubt, he hadn’t taken time to seek God for direction, but had just decided on his own to make this affinity.

Many start out to serve God without separating themselves from the wrong crowd. Soon they are led back to the ungodly ways they had been delivered from.

II Chronicles 18:4
And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray Thee, at the word of the LORD to day.

Here we find Jehoshaphat finally does want to know whether or not God wants him to go out to war with Ahab.

There’s a spiritual lesson for us in this: We ought to stop and enquire of the Lord before venturing into anything. If we don’t, we will only find troubles upon troubles. I’m going to say it to you like this: If you don’t take the time to pray about the moves in your life, you’ll find yourself many, many times weeping over your mistakes.

II Chronicles 18:5
Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.

Here are four hundred prophets prophesying that it was all right to go to battle. It certainly seemed that this was the thing to do . . . after all, four hundred were in agreement!

II Chronicles 18:10,11
And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed. And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

Everything looked good — on the surface. This was just what Ahab wanted to hear: the Assyrians would have to bend.

And this is the way it is in many lives: They just want to hear good news, just want to hear smooth things that will tickle their ears. They don’t want to hear anything that will ruffle them. They don’t want to hear preaching on judgment. They don’t want to hear sermons on hell and destruction. No, they just want to hear more and more about grace and love.

Here, King Ahab was in his glory. His prophets were in his favor. They were telling him exactly what he wanted to hear.

This goes to show you the persuasive power that accompanies a lying spirit: to lie and to make one believe a lie.

They were prophesying great things in the name of the Lord — things which would never come to pass.

One True Prophet

II Chronicles 18:6
But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?

King Jehoshaphat wasn’t satisfied with the four hundred prophets. Down in his heart he didn’t believe what they were saying.

II Chronicles 18:7
And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

In other words, Jehoshaphat was suggesting that Ahab go ahead and call for Micaiah even though Ahab had just said he hated Micaiah, for Micaiah never prophesied good unto him.

This is a strange situation. Ahab wants to hear from the Lord, yet hates the true prophet of God. Why do you suppose he had such bad feelings towards Micaiah?

Why? because he never prophesied good unto him.

Can someone who is living for the devil expect God to pat them on the back with prophecy, telling them how good they are?

Hey, if you’re living an evil life, then God will reprove you. He will deal with you about the way you are living. He won’t override wickedness to bring a message of blessing. God’s message to the wicked is always "Repent!"

II Chronicles 18:12,13
And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good. And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.

When the king asked Micaiah if they should go to Ramoth-gilead, he told the king to go ahead and prosper, simply quoting what the false prophets had said.

II Chronicles 18:15
And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD?

Ahab knew Micaiah hadn’t given him God’s message. He knew God’s message would be contrary to that which the false prophets had brought.

II Chronicles 18:22
Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.

I warned you about the consequences of joining affinity with the wrong people. When you make friends with the ungodly, you can expect that trouble is going to be yours. After all, you are following along with those who are judgment prone, those whose lives are sure to bring down God’s judgment.

Now, how could a lying spirit be sent from the Lord? We can’t fully understand this, but we must accept what we see in God’s Word.

Back in the book of Job, we find Satan coming and standing before the presence of the Lord as an accuser of the brethren.

And in II Chronicles 18 God allowed this spirit to lie through the four hundred false prophets that they might convince Ahab it was all right for him to go up to battle.

With this kind of a message coming forth, we can begin to understand why Micaiah’s prophecy didn’t sound very good unto Ahab.

II Chronicles 18:23-26
Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.

Then the king of Israel said, Take ye Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; and say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace.

The Danger of Going with the Crowd

II Chronicles 18:28-31
So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle.

Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel. And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.

This story shows the mercies of the Lord upon a man of God.

God hadn’t forsaken Jehoshaphat, though He was going to have to teach him a lesson, to let him know he had done wrong. Even though Jehoshaphat had made the mistake of joining affinity with Ahab, it didn’t mean that God would have no more to do with him.

We can see that it was only the mercies of God that spared his life that day.

But isn’t it strange that even though he had listened to a lying spirit and gone to battle, God would protect him?

This shows the mistake, and it shows God’s merciful hand.

The Word of God plainly tells us to separate from the unrighteous, not choosing our fellowship with such. We are called to be a light and a witness unto a dark, sinful world . . . but we’re not to join affinity with them.

Even a godly man can be persuaded to follow along with the counsel of the ungodly if he’s not careful. Just look at how the lying spirit convinced King Jehoshaphat to go ahead to battle.

We see how easy it is to follow the crowd. “Everybody can’t be wrong!” Well, in this case there were four hundred who were wrong, and only one who was right!

You cannot go by the ratio. You might belong to the biggest church in the city, or even in the world. But that doesn’t make it right if it is contrary to the Word of God. The work of these false prophets is to lead people away from Jesus through a lying spirit.

We’re not to go by how big something is or by how large a multitude is that goes along with it. Most of the false prophets of our day have quite large followings.

Jesus warned us to take heed that we be not deceived. We are to beware of those who prophesy smooth words, those who avoid telling us the whole counsel of God.

II Chronicles 18:33,34
And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.

Here’s the climax. We find a great truth in this: Only one prophet said it would happen this way; the other four hundred said Ahab would prosper.

Realize that it wasn’t what the crowd said that was right. It was what the man of God said, the one who had never prophesied good unto the king because God didn’t have any good messages for that wicked man.

Let’s grasp this truth: We’re not to give into a lying spirit and be swayed to believe a lie.

So many go along with the crowd in their judgments. Just look at the crowd that cried out, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Weren’t they all wrong in their judgment?

Don’t be swayed away by a crowd who has a lying spirit. Come to the place of recognizing the truth, paying heed to what the Word of God expresses as the true path for you to follow.

It’s the devil’s business to get you away from walking on the straight and narrow way.

Warnings from God’s Word

I Timothy 4:1-3
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

We have to take this warning just as it is given in the Word. Some will depart from the faith in these last days. They will be led away by listening to the lies of seducing spirits, giving heed to what they have to say.

I John 4:1-3
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

When somebody preaches Jesus was merely a good man, they are not preaching Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God.

You may come to a knowledge of current events through such a sermon, yet gain no understanding of Christ, the Saviour of the world. You may gain a social understanding about many things, but have you gained a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?

Now, stop and think about that name of Jesus. This is the earthly name given unto Him, the name He was commonly known by: Jesus of Nazareth.

The second part of His name, “Christ,” is what’s important, for it expresses His divinity. Christ is Greek for the Hebrew word Messiah, the promised Saviour.

Many teach that Jesus was merely a good man, a prophet of God. They don’t teach “Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.” No, they teach “Jesus, a good teacher.”

Now, it is true that Jesus was a good teacher; He was a good man. But the real truth comes forth in the revelation that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. The real truth is that Jesus Christ will save you from your sins.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yes, Jesus Christ will blot out your sins if you will turn to receive Him and confess Him as your Saviour. And that’s the truth!

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